Jay Z Ft. Eminem – Renegade

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Jay-Z & Eminem’s “Renegade” Is One Of The Best Collabs Of All Time “Motherfuckers say that I’m foolish, I only talk about jewels,” spits Jay-Z, in the opening lines of Blueprint’s “Renegade.” “Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it?” And thus begins one of the greatest collaborations of all time, in which two legendary emcees deliver top tier verses on both a technical and thematic level. Taking to an uncharacteristically haunting beat, Jay weaves a tale of the complex dynamic between the ghetto and those that milk its residents for entertainment. Never hurrying his words, Jay rides the beat like only he can, blending impeccable imagery with insane multisyllabic rhyme structures – “pocket full of lint, not a cent, lotta inn-ocent lives lost on the project bench.” There’s something to be said about the context surrounding “Renegade’s” arrival. Originally intended as a Bad Meets Evil track (the Royce version is out there for your enjoyment), Em ultimately contributed the track to Jay’s 2001 classic, marking the project’s lone collaboration. Coming off the release of both Marshall Mathers LP and Devil’s Night, Em’s public persona was that of a hip-hop antichrist, reviled by the mass media and the bane of suburban parents. On “Renegade,” however, Em foreshadowed The Eminem Show to come, opening up in a shockingly mature and satirical fashion. “Go to war with the Mormons, take a bath with the Catholics in holy water,” he spits, his flow absolutely magnetic. “No wonder they try to hold me under longer.” With both emcees turning in magnificent performances and a chilling call-and-response chorus, there are some who would comfortably name “Renegade” among the greatest songs ever written. Poetic, darkly comedic, and lined with scathing societal commentary, “Renegade” is one of many crowning achievements on an album fueled by excellence. Happy birthday to The Blueprint, a classic through and through.

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